On Solstice Eve 2022 #TiltedAxes had the honor to premiere their arrangement of “Knee Play 3” from “Einstein on the Beach” for the composer himself, Philip Glass, outside his East Village home. Moments like this remind me of the power of possibility. The video was taken by Saori Tsukada who was so gracious in helping us make this happen.
“I love hearing the music played on the streets of NYC. You were great. Thank you.” — Philip Glass
GRATITUDE: We’re happy to get news yesterday that composer Patrick Grant received a Composer Compositions award from NYSCA to create #newmusic for Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars in 2023. The group, its composers, and I look forward to bringing this new work to a new public in the coming year. Thank you NYSCA, thanks to our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas! #gratitude #nysca #tiltedaxes New York State Council on the Arts
Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars’ 2023 season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
TWO DAYS AWAY! Saturday, Sept. 10th, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Tilted Axes: Signals Through the Flames, a musical procession to kick-off The Village Trip Festival 2022, beginning and ending at St. John’s In the Village, 218 W 11th St.
At approximately 3pm, they will meet up with music legend David Amram and his septet for a tilted collaboration at the 8th St. and MacDougal bandstand presented by The Village Alliance. After #TiltedAxes’ return and finale at St. John’s, The Village Trip GuitarFest takes over from 4:00pm-9:30pm.
French surrealist and theatre theorist Antonin Artaud, so wished for a searing realness upon the stage, that he called for the actors to strip themselves of all artifice and to present themselves as “…being like victims burnt at the stake, signaling through the flames.” (The Theater and Its Double, 1931)
His writings had a tremendous influence on the creators of The Living Theatre, Julian Back and Judith Malina, when their vision was coming together in the 50s and 60s. A 1983 documentary about The Living is even titled, “Signals Through the Flames,” such is their association with the Artaud.
In their early days, the LT’s history is almost like a who’s-who of Village artists and aesthetic innovators from the theater, art, musical, and progressive political worlds. In 1959, with the help of a producer in collaboration with John Cage and Merce Cunningham they were able to open the theater on 14th St. and 6th Ave. which was the Theatre’s home for five years. Cunningham had his dance studio on the top floor. The Living occupied floors two and three.
Many years after that I met Judith when I was in my 20s and was lucky to work alongside her, creating music for theater, off and on for the group, for over twenty years. This included performances in the USA and extensively throughout Europe. The modus operandi abroad was that we would perform whatever current production we were touring plus we’d give workshops and create activist street theater with the local population. NYC was no exception. Performative political protests were a part of city life when the LT was based here. Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars might not have ever come into being had I not had this experience in my formation.
It is in that spirit, taking it to the streets, that we present our latest musical procession, as part of The Village Trip Festival opening on September 10th in Greenwich Village. For the event, we will premiere a new piece with that name: “Signals Through the Flames.”
This performance is dedicated to all of the politically active artists and troupes that The Village has given birth to over the years, but especially to The Living Theatre. Our aim is to bring positive attention to their work and legacy and to all of us who owe them a debt for initially breaking down The Fourth Wall.
Tilted Axes: Tilt Quintet performs for Open Streets L.E.S. on Avenue B, NYC on July 23, 2022. This was probably their “hottest” show ever with a city-wide heat index of 105 F. It didn’t matter. It was a great show. Electric Guitars: Angela Babin, Howie Kenty, John Halo — Electric Bass: Jeremy Nesse — Percussion: Patrick Grant. Photos: Bob Krasner @bobkrasner @bobkrasnertoo
#TiltedAxes performs Elisa Corona Aguilar‘s piece “Invasive Species” outside Veselka :: Beceлкa and the Ukrainian National Center in NYC on May 1st. A choir of electric guitar EBows filled up 2nd Ave. with tones of healing and reflection. The city stopped for a moment. Incredible.
STRiNGS & THiNGS Show: “On our series called “First Axe” we ask members of #TiltedAxes to tell us their electric guitar origin stories. This time we’re talking to Howie Kenty, who’s a faculty member at Kaufman Music Center, where he teaches music tech, composition, and theory. But his early guitar days were marked by the sounds of grunge, cassette recordings and questionable taste in stage-wear.”